NES Classic: Wonderfully nostalgic piece of hardware

J.T. Johnson
Special to The Saline Courier

Here I am finally writing a review about the NES Classic Edition, the dedicated home video game console based on Nintendo’s original Nintendo Entertainment System.
The console features 30 built-in games from the NES era, with hits including all three “Super Mario Bros.” titles, both Zelda games for the NES, two “Castlevania” games from Konami, and “Mega Man 2” from Capcom. There are a couple of issues that I have with the console, but more on that later.

First off, the game selection is great. I had a blast going through and playing a sampling of all 30 games. I was immediately taken back to days sitting around the house and eating Pizza Rolls while enjoying some of my favorite titles. The only drawback comes from whether you already own these titles in some other form.
If you’ve already downloaded these titles onto your Nintendo 3DS or your Wii U, then this may not be for you as you already own the games. The same goes for those lucky gamers that are fortunate enough to still have the original system itself and the original cartridges. Still, if you’re like me and you don’t have any of those, then this is for you.

Since the games cost roughly $5 should you download them onto a current Nintendo system, then you’ll save money here if you don’t already own them. The Classic Edition sells for $60 and that means that you’re only paying $2 per game, thus saving a lot of money by getting the dedicated system.

The 30 games on the system each has four save state spots. This means that when you get up to reset the system, it’ll remember where you left off and you can choose to use one of the four save spots to keep the save state permanently. Also, if you want to play another game while you’re already playing one, you have to get up and reset the system.
Some people may be annoyed by this aspect. I have to say that I love it as that too adds to the nostalgic feel. I had to get up and change cartridges back in the day, so having to get up and hit the reset button just to play another game adds to that old school feeling.

The console itself is adorable. It’s basically the same design as the original machine except that it can pretty much fit in the palm of your hand. It hooks up to the TV with an HDMI cable, so the graphics in the game are crisp… If you want them to be, that is.
The game features three display settings for the games. The default setting is a 4:3 ratio that I actually feel works best when compared to the Pixel Perfect setting. The Pixel Perfect setting feels a little too weird visually and I found myself quickly changing the setting back to the 4:3 ratio.

However, the real treat for the Classic Edition is the CRT setting. This creates the interlaced lines and makes the games appear as if they’re being played on an old-fashioned television monitor, just like back in the day. I have to admit that I used this setting quite a bit just for the nostalgic feeling it gave me and thought that it was a wonderful addition to the console.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I do have a couple of issues. The first one is simply the availability of the console. At the time of this writing, almost no stores have any in stock and once one or two become available, they are snatched up immediately. In fact, the only reason I’m able to write this review right now is due to a couple of friends (thanks again Shaggy and Shelby) who also got my other friends out on the hunt and they managed to secure a console only a week before Christmas.
Beyond that, I have only one problem with the console hardware itself. The controller that comes with the system is fantastic as it plays and feels just like the old controller. The connection on the end of it also fits into a Wii Remote, so if you want to use it to play your downloaded NES games on the Wii U, it will work.

No, the problem comes with the cord length as it is incredibly short. I had to sit a small table in front of the TV, put the system on there, then I still had to sit in a chair between my couch and the system. Thankfully, there are several third-party extension cords out there for the controller. From what I’ve read, they all work pretty well, but this does mean you’ll have to spend an extra $10 or more dollars depending on the length and brand of the extension you buy.

The controller’s cord is only a minor problem, though, as I quickly found myself playing 30 classic games and feeling like a kid again. I hope that Nintendo actually decides to make one for the Super Nintendo and maybe even the N64 as well. But if they do, I only hope that they extend the length of the cords and manufacture more to handle the demand when and if they are released.